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Silencing the Siren Song

14 Dec 2016 . category: . Comments

Come this way, honored Odysseus… and stay your ship, so that you can listen here to our singing; for no one else has ever sailed past this place in his black ship until he has listened to the honey-sweet voice that issues from our lips; then goes on, well-pleased, knowing more than ever he did; for we know everything… Over all the generous earth we know everything that happens.

Ancient Depiction of Sirens

You, dear reader, like Odysseus and other adventurers since time immemorial, have likely encountered the song of the siren. It is the little otherworldly voice that sweetly whispers into your earlobe, sometimes about new frontiers to explore, and other times recounting the great deeds of mythical demigods and heroes.

Sometimes, the song of the siren can be helpful, rousing you from your home and hearth and lighting in your heart the desire to seek out voyages of discovery, accept sacred quests, or emulate the footsteps of paragons of virtue. These things elevate the human experience, forming the basis for our highest advances in arts, sciences, and spirituality. However, read the biography of any luminary of human progress, and you will likely discover that while inspiration played a small part at the beginning of the story arc, most of the quest required faith overcoming doubts, guts overcoming naysayers and foes, and a single-minded focus overcoming distraction.

Grail Quest

While practicing these virtues, you will likely find your siren to be your greatest foe. While she lit your heart aflame with the passion of some epic voyage or grail quest, once you’ve embarked, having drawn up charts and maps, provisioned supplies on credit, and sallied forth unto the great Unknown, you, like your adventuresome forebears, will find that the siren has already gotten bored. After one brief tug at the sword in the stone, she suggests that maybe you’re better suited to learn archery instead. A fortnight into your quest for the holy grail, she brings up the fact that these days everyone seems to be questing for the sacred cup of Christ.. maybe it’s too passé and you should sail to Hellas to recreate the feats of Hercules instead? Falling for the siren during these moments will turn your life into an Odyssey. You meant to kick some Trojan butt, but for some reason, you ended up blown around the Mediterranean sea, wasting ten years of your life.

When you find yourself galloping on your noble steed, half way to the mythical white tower of Nadrun, seeking the potion that will cure the king and bring prosperity to the realm, and the sublime notes of the siren begin to tickle the hairs of your inner ear, remember this blog post. You will have to choose to either fill your ears with wax, silence the sirens, and maintain a consistent heading or change course towards what she promises will be greener pastures and greater glories, but most likely will result in an ever-churning list of half-beaten foes, half-rescued maidens, half-discovered treasures, and half-enlightened states.

Do yourself a favor. When not questing, listen to the siren for inspiration. Otherwise, choose the wax and follow your quests to completion.


Me

Sean McBride is a Full-stack SW Engineer with strong infrastructure chops. In previous chapters of his life, he's been a West Point cadet, an Army Officer, and a History PhD dropout.